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Saga Japan Guide: Gorgeous Flowers, Food and More at Shiga Agricultural Park "Blumen Hugel Farm"!

Saga Japan Guide: Gorgeous Flowers, Food and More at Shiga Agricultural Park "Blumen Hugel Farm"!

Date published: 2 September 2019
Last updated: 11 September 2019

Blumen Hugel Farm in Hino, Shiga Prefecture is an agricultural park where you can enjoy beautiful flowers that vary depending on the season. In the lovely landscape inspired by a German townscape there are attractions such as flower gardens and places where you can interact with animals, local vegetable restaurants, workshops, hands-on classrooms, greenhouses, and athletics.

Here we’ll share about the attractions here that adults and children alike can enjoy throughout the day.

We visited at the end of April to make this report. This is the best time to see the roughly 130,000 flowers including 125 varieties of tulips when they are all in bloom. But before we tell you more about the beautiful gardens, let us briefly tell you about Blumen Hugel.

What sort of place is Blumen Hugel?

Blumen Hugel consists of the Starting Area, Lively Area, Flower Area, Animal Area, Water Area, and Play Area located on its expansive grounds. These grounds are incredibly spacious so walking about visiting everything will give you some good exercise. Anticipation of what awaits you inside builds when you see the reproduced German townscape.

▲ You will need a park map to find your way around this vast site. After paying the admission

I decided to primarily visit the Flower Area and Animal Area which are the main topics of this article.

By the way, you can take the free retro-style shuttle bus to Blumen Hugel that runs from the Omi Railway Hino Station (operates only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays).
By car, it takes about 20 minutes from the Meishin Expressway Gamo Smart Interchange.

▲ The entrance is in a German architectural style. A stone-paved path leads to the entrance gate.

You need to purchase a ticket just in front of the entrance gate. 1,000 yen for junior high school and above, 600 yen for 4 year-olds ~ elementary school aged children, no charge for 3-year-olds and older, and 300 yen for dogs (all prices include tax).

Immediately on the left after entering the park, there was a sign announcing that the Blume Dog Run (no charge for use) opened on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

▲ If you look to the right, you can see the clock tower gift shop in the Lively Area.

I eagerly looked forward to seeing the German architecture and colorful flowers in the park. If you go to Blumen Hugel you can take a break from your daily life and spend a special time here experiencing what it is like on a dairy farm.

The flowers are in full bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors and their beauty is truly spectacular

The flowers are in full bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors and their beauty is truly spectacular
▲ Pale pink tulips. You can take a nice photo here with the German-style buildings in the background.

Passing through the Lively Area you come to the Flower Area. In the main flower garden, different kinds of flowers bloom in each of the four seasons. The flowers blooming in the spring every year are narcissus, rape, and cherry blossoms from mid-March. Tulips and nemophila bloom from mid to late April, and roses begin to bloom in late May.

▲ The red tulip with the yellow petal edges is a variety called World's Favorite. They were almost in full bloom at the time this photo was taken (late April)
▲ These feature stylish petals with pointed ends. The number of petals varies depending on the type of tulip.
▲ These bright pink tulips are also impressive

There are 125 varieties of tulips in the garden; there seems to be so many that I imagine the staff even has trouble remembering everything about them. It seems that this is so because they are planted when they are bulbs and knowing which is which can be a bit confusing. For example, suddenly you will see a red tulip in the midst of a row of white ones...can you spot it?

▲ Tulips as far as the eye can see. The colorful rows paint a pretty picture in the park
▲ The field of rapeseed near the sheep farm is also beautiful. The yellow in the back is not rapeseed but Oriental mustard
▲ The light blue of the nemophila, which is in full bloom in early May, contrasts beautifully with the tulips. A photo taken amongst them would look great on SNS!
▲ The gradation of the blue in these flowers is striking.

In early summer roses begin to bloom, and in July you can also enjoy hydrangea, Chinese hibiscus, and sulfur cosmos. The roughly 50,000 sunflowers blooming in August also make a spectacular sight!

▲ The 50,000 sunflowers are in full bloom in August
▲ The weather is comfortable when the pink, purple, and white cosmos are in full bloom (from late September to early November)

The cosmos are lovely in the fall and the pansies and viola can be enjoyed in the winter.

▲ The best time for viewing the pansies is from late November. They look more fragile at dusk.
▲ The many layers of viola with their small petals also make a lovely impression

No matter the season, you will always be surrounded by beautiful flowers, so visit during those times when your favorite flowers are in bloom.

Come into contact with cute animals

Come into contact with cute animals
▲ Sheep pasture. At the time of shooting (late April), the many sheep looked fluffy because they had not yet been sheared.

Next to the Flower Area in the Animal Area there are sheep, alpaca, and a horseback riding area, and in the Minimaru Land within the Animal Contact Plaza there are fluffy rabbits and guinea pigs that you can pet. Here you can feed sheep and goats and also come into contact with turtles, miniature pigs, and emu.

▲ You can see the animals, like this laid-back sheep, up close
▲ This young ram lamb was born in March 2019. It looks so cute peeking out of its enclosure.
▲ There are about 10 goats in the park. Seeing them walking together is definitely soothing
▲ This brown goat is of a breed called Tokara. There are also other types such as angora and saanen goats.
▲There are also alpaca. You need to be careful because they have a tendency to spit when they feel threatened (LOL).
▲ This alpaca named Raito-kun was born in October 2018. He was named that because his right ear is noticeably smaller and his name in Japanese can also be rendered as “light” that brightens the future.

In these pastures and paddocks you can seem all types of animals in their natural habitat. The sight of this agricultural park surrounded by such an abundance of nature warmed my heart.

▲ The building with the orange roof visible from the flower garden is the Animal Contact Plaza. Inside this building is the Minimaru Land where you can pet the animals.

Let’s go inside to see what kind of animals are there. I entered with eager anticipation.

The main animals here are kangaroos, capybaras, emu, and pigs wandering about the garden. Before stopping at the Minimaru Land I first headed straight for the garden.

▲The first animal I came upon was a kangaroo. Kangaroos walk using their tails for support and by putting their front paws on the ground before them.
▲ A group of kangaroos watch another one come down a small hill.
▲ Here is a very laid-back capybara. Capybaras are actually rodents related to mice.
▲ I found its seeming lack of interest in doing anything quite charming. Its fur is surprisingly stiff and straight.
▲ You can take a cute picture because it will approach the camera without hesitation.

After having fun interacting with the kangaroos and capybaras, I went back into the building to enjoy the Minimaru Land.

▲ There are about 20 rabbits in total. They feel good because they are so fluffy. I could spend the day petting them.

“These little animals are really cute!” I exclaimed. Just looking at their peaceful and loving eyes is soothing. This is an experience I think everyone should have. You may think that the Minimaru Land in the Small Animal Contact Plaza is for children, but I think adults also will enjoy it.

At lunchtime, enjoy seasonal vegetables at the restaurant

At lunchtime, enjoy seasonal vegetables at the restaurant
▲ Restaurants and shops line the Lively Area and the stone pavement is reminiscent of the Römerplatz in Frankfurt, Germany

Walking around the broad expanses of the park I worked up an appetite, so headed over to the highly acclaimed Rural Restaurant. This is a great lunch spot where you can enjoy an authentic BBQ and a seasonal vegetable smorgasbord, which mainly uses local vegetables.

▲ Interior of the restaurant where you can enjoy the seasonal vegetable smorgasbord. Bright and spacious

The seasonal vegetable smorgasbord has a 60-minute time limit and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (accessible until 3:00 p.m.) The fee is 1,750 yen for junior high school aged and older, 900 yen for elementary school aged and above, and 500 yen for ages 3 ~ 6 (all prices include tax).

This restaurant boasts dishes made using Shiga specialties such as red konjac and chojifu (a type of wheat gluten), as well as vegetables purchased from local farmers, and homemade bread. When we visited fatsia sprouts harvested in Hino Town were made into tempura on the spot. These freshly harvested fatsia sprouts tempura were absolutely delicious! The strawberry dessert made by a local farming family was also popular.

▲ Primarily seasonal vegetables are used, so these will change according to the season.
▲ Fill your plate with your favorite foods from the wide selection of those offered
▲ This is homemade yogurt. It is made on the farm here, so it has a deep and mellow flavor

You can also enjoy all you can eat beef, pork, chicken, sausage, seasonal vegetables, and Omi rice at the Barbecue House next to the Rural Restaurant. The fee is 2,300 yen for junior high school aged and older, 1,200 yen for elementary school aged and above, 800 yen for ages 4 ~ 6, and 500 yen for ages 3 (all prices include tax).

Gifts only available at Blumen Hugel

The Shop in the Lively Area had a lot of original Blumen Hugel homemade products as well as sausages imported from Germany. Also keep an eye open for the popular baumkuchen, homemade ice cream, homemade yogurt and Blumen Hugel original craft beer made in the park.

▲ The ice cream is homemade using fresh milk from jersey cows that give it a rich flavor. It comes in vanilla, yogurt, strawberry, chocolate, and matcha flavors each priced at 250 yen including tax.
▲ Drinkable Yogurt Plain (210 yen including tax), Sugar-sweetened Yogurt (230 yen including tax), and butter (850 yen including tax) in the foreground. There are five types of limited quantity craft beer made in Hino Town plus a limited seasonal type (from 600 yen including tax)

I bought some these to take back with me, but there are still many other playground facilities in the park. This gigantic athletic facility imported from Germany opened on March 1, 2019! It is 17 meters tall. Among the 72 attractions that have been classified as difficult there is bouldering, boats floating in the air, and a single bridge that can be crossed by bicycle.

▲ The parts for this gigantic athletic structure were sent from Germany by ship and just looking at it makes your heart race.

I’d like to play on it all day! This is the perfect place for those with energetic children to enjoy a full day of pleasure at Blumen Hugel

  • Shiga Agricultural Park Blume no Oka (Blumen Hugel)
    滋賀農業公園 ブルーメの丘
    • Address Shiga Agricultural Park Blume no Oka (Blumen Hugel) 843 Nishioji, Hino Town, Gamo-gun, Shiga Prefecture
    • Nearest Station Open: weekdays 10:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 9:30 a.m. ~ 6:00 p.m. *Times may vary according to the season
      Closed: Wednesday (excluding public holidays, spring vacation, summer vacation, and Golden Week *December 1 ~ February 28 closed on Wednesday and Thursday)
      Admission: junior high aged and older 1,000 yen, 4 years old ~ elementary school students 600 yen; 3 years or younger free; 300 yen per dog (all prices include tax)
    • Phone Number 0748-52-2611

This time, I primarily enjoyed the spectacular view of the flower gardens that extended as far as the eye can see, but next time I would like to try the athletics equipment. There are many exhibitions and attractions that can be enjoyed outdoors, so be sure to visit on a sunny day.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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